AI: Enlightened Bullies


Most people we tend to argue with on the internet regarding LGBTQ* rights os women rights present just about the same arguments everyone else does. Most of us are sort of trained to deal with the most common and fundamental fallacies there are, being able to put and end to the discussion – be it because the other person accepted your point of view or, with certain types of individuals, because one of the parties realizes how pointless it would be to carry on.

Once in a while, though, your opponent is someone enlightened, smart, perhaps someone you trust, someone that is an ally in almost every sense, but disagrees on a key issue – like gay marriage or legalizing abortion – and that person somehow makes sense in their logic, weren’t it for the fact such logic works against human rights.

How do you deal when people you know to be better than that show prejudiced behaviour? When that behaviour is based on a strong and logical foundation, how do you deconstruct it?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm ET.

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  1. You ask a great question. It is something I struggle with. When people are willfully obtuse in their definitions or in their argument. At some point you have to realize that you may have come to symbolize one thing or another to that person. Other people have insecurities that may or may not be related to the topic at hand. Or they may just not like you personally. The next step is deciding how much you are willing to fight, and what it is you are fighting for, and what you have to gain. You might wonder the same about the bully or bullies, sometimes its just pure chemistry-level hatred that they aren’t able to overcome.

  2. With respect to abortion specifically, every once and a while I run into this situation, and regardless of how reasonable the person sounds, it always comes down to one of two things: They’re either arguing philosophy and still basing their arguments on the idea of ‘taking responsibility’ (funny how that never seems to apply to the sperm donor…), or they’re arguing practicality and just flat wrong/ignorant of the statistics. I actually had a Straw Abortionist argument with my mother over Thanksgiving (she’s philosophically though not legally opposed to abortion) – with her talking about ‘women who use it as birth control, which is both physically and fiscally irresponsible.’ (My response is left as an exercise to the reader.) Fortunately, these sorts of people tend to respond well to data, and we certainly have plenty of that.

    I’ve never run into anyone with an anti-marriage rights position that even *sounded* reasonable.

    Well, unless you count one of my best friends’, but his statement was that he was philosophically opposed to same-sex marriage because he was philosophically opposed to ALL marriage, because marriage is a religious institution that blurs the line between church and state, and everything on a legal level should just be civil unions. I was pretty okay with that position, seeing as it doesn’t affect his voting behavior or his opinion on my relationship with my girlfriend.

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